Finnish sales know-how is about to get a major boost: entrepreneur husband and wife Jalo and Anja Paananen have donated five million euros to sales and marketing education at LUT University. Jalo Paananen, founder of the Peikko Group, sees the development of sales expertise as the solution to Finland’s problems in the midst of an economic recession.
“Sales expertise can make export companies more successful. So much so that Finland’s gross domestic product would grow by one percent. We’re confident that LUT will be able to train experts that can help Finland back on its feet and out of this recession,” says Paananen, a legendary entrepreneur.
The historic donation is in a league of its own: it is very likely the largest one ever made to a Finnish university. Moreover, it is the largest donation LUT University has received from a private citizen. LUT Business School will use the donated funds to establish a nationally significant sales and marketing education cluster on LUT’s campus in Lahti.
”The donation is a veritable jackpot for LUT and the entire Lahti region. It also opens up unique opportunities for businesses and injects new life into corporate collaboration in the region,” states Teresa Kemppi-Vasama, chair of the LUT University board.
The new cluster on the Lahti campus means establishing a new master’s programme in sales and marketing and a sales-related Executive MBA programme. Both programmes will start in autumn 2025.
”We at LUT are extremely grateful for this incredible donation, which we will use to bolster the success of our nation and its future,” praises Juha-Matti Saksa, LUT’s rector.
Jussi Rissanen to start as professor of practice
LUT Business School has also appointed a new professor of practice on 1 February 2024 to reinforce its sales expertise. The appointee, Jussi Rissanen, is Barona’s former sales director and the founder of its subsidiary Frontliners. He will head the new sales-related Executive MBA programme.
“Academic education and research skills lay a strong foundation for sales work and business consulting. It is especially important to improve the academic sales and interaction skills of Finns, and that is best done in practical sales work,” analyses Rissanen, who is also known for his popular sales coaching podcast Myyntiradio.
The donation by the Paananens also enables hiring a number of academic experts. The recruitment processes will start in February 2024.
”LUT Business School will raise its profile in sales and marketing education and research – in Finland as well as internationally,” says Sami Saarenketo, dean of LUT Business School.
LUT Business School
- Is a business school at LUT University; one of the world’s top 150 business schools. Has roughly 130 employees and 25 professors.
- Focuses on sustainable business and business renewal.
- Examines international marketing from the following perspectives:
o innovation management
o sustainable consumer behaviour
o strategy and digital marketing technology
- Operates on LUT’s campuses in Lappeenranta and Lahti.
Has among its master’s programmes one that focuses on international marketing management. In addition, offers sales courses to any students interested.